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Full text of "Verdict On India"

"232                                      VERDICT   OX  IXDIA
suggest that we can quit overnight : India would be left almost
completely defenceless from aggression.1
This quite fundamental matter of defence has received ^cant
consideration from the so-called * friends of India" at home, largely
because they have been so bemused by Congress propaganda. It
is dinned into their heads that * India is eager to defend herself, if
only she gains her freedom/ This apparently innocuous sentence
is untrue and—apart from that—meaningless. On the one hand,
India—at least Hindu-India—is still sworn to non-violence, and
although this dangerous sham ha-, been somewhat discredited, it
will never be completely eradicated from the Hindu mmd. "India
is eager to defend herself means, in the Gandhi philosophy. 'India
is eager to play the role of doormat to any aggressor who chooses
to wipe his feet on her/ On the other hand, to those who have
rejected the creed of non-violence,* India is eager to defend herself'
is simply an empty slogan, flung out at large, to impress the world.
'Defend herself with what ?' one may reasonably inquire. "With
catapults? With barge poles? With rotten eggs? * It is a legitimate
question, but it seldom receives a legitimate answer, for the pro-^
pagandist is too adroit to be caught napping; before you know
where you are he has countered with another question../And
whose fault is it that India is so weak ? Whose fault is it that we
have no navy, 110 air force, no munition factories ?' The applause
which greets these rhetorical questions usually drowns any attempt
to give a reasoned answer to them.
Of course, they really do not require an answer at all, for the
question k Whose fault is it ?" is entirely irrelevant. However, let us
be generous; let us grant the Congressman his point and say to
him ' All right, have it your own way, it's all our fault/ So what ?
The hard facts of the situation are in no way altered, and those
facts are of a nature to give pause even to Miss Pearl Buck. To
take a very simple example, there is practically no such things as an
Indian navy. At the beginning of the war the entire Indian navy
1 For the sake of simplicity I have deliberately avoided any consideration of the
probability of civil war. The grant of Pakistan would, of course, remove the main
danger ; even so, it would seem fairly certain that large parts of India would revert
to their traditional anarchy. It is inconceivable that all the States would vote them-^
selves out of existence without a fight. It is equally inconceivable that the North-
West Frontier would not flare up agam in a bonfire of tribal warfare which might
spread far beyond the frontiers.